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Lisa Kuhn | Executive Director
A respected authority on international development, Lisa has provided training, assessment, and capacity-building services to more than 35 international organizations in 22 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. She has more than 15 years of experience in microfinance and international development specializing in multi-sectoral and sustainable solutions to development challenges such as food security, women's empowerment, access to affordable and adequate health care, education, and enterprise development. Additionally, she has extensive experience developing and implementing practitioner-friendly monitoring and evaluation systems and has demonstrated success using participatory research methods to develop and assess programs.
Lisa has been driven by a desire to change the system and to create opportunities for people everywhere to reach their fullest potential. Her approach combines a focus on capacity and leadership development at the local level combined with thorough analysis of the dynamics that influence the achievement of social objectives--including organizational policies, processes, and culture, market forces, and political trends.
After receiving her MS in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, she held a number of technical, policy, and leadership positions in microfinance networks including Freedom from Hunger, Opportunity International, and FINCA International. Before taking the position as Executive Director with FSD, Lisa served as the Vice-President for Programs in Latin America for Freedom from Hunger where she helped bring integrated microfinance, health, and business services to more than 1 million women through more than 100 local Latin American partners.
When she’s not off in some remote corner of the world working on sustainable solutions for communities, she enjoys backpacking in remote corners of wilderness with her husband Mark.
Mary Steponkus | Finance and Operations Officer
Mary’s interest in all things international was instilled at a very early age by her first grade teacher who handed out small items from her own travels as prizes for good work. This interest continued into her education with a B.A in International Relations and Russian Language from Cornell College and an M.A. in European and Eurasian Studies from George Washington University, and in her personal life with her travels taking her to 33 countries (and still counting). Her professional background consists of 11 years working with financial and project management in the international development world, most recently as Pricing Manager at Crown Agents USA. Prior to that, she focused on budgeting and analysis at ACDI/VOCA, project management at American Councils for International Education, and has spent a few years as a professional baker. A recent arrival to the Bay Area, after many years in Washington DC, she loves all of the opportunities to be outdoors, hiking, bicycling, and is looking forward to renewing her love of camping.
Keiko Pinces | Senior International Programs Officer - East Africa & India
Keiko has a long relationship with FSD, starting with her internship in Mombasa, Kenya in 2007 and returning years later as International Program Coordinator at our Kakamega site. Since then, she has led international volunteer programs and development efforts in India and Uganda as well. She brings eight years of program management and fundraising experience in the non-profit sector with large and small organizations, both domestic and international. Now at FSD's home office, Keiko oversees FSD's six program sites in India, Uganda and Kenya. With a B.A. in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara, she has always loved learning from and talking to people from all over the world. She loves discussing perspectives on successes and challenges to sustainability and community-based development. Outside of FSD, you can find her playing tennis, running, biking, and exploring the city of San Francisco.
Devin Graves | International Programs Officer - Latin America
Devin discovered the power of social change when he learned that he shared a birthday with Nelson Mandela. Studying about Mandela’s life gave him the determination to impact the world, and because of this desire, he pursued a Master’s degree in Intercultural Service, Leadership, and Management from the School for International Training in Brattleboro, Vermont. As part of his studies, he focused on sustainable project design with an emphasis in monitoring and evaluation. Before joining FSD, he spent two years designing and implementing development projects among Mayan communities in both Mexico and Guatemala, and in the eastern districts of Uganda. Previous to living abroad, he worked in international education, recruiting group leaders for summer abroad programs for high school students, and he led a group of 15 high school students on a study abroad to Argentina. When Devin is not working in development he enjoys being outdoors, hiking, volleyball, reading, and traveling with his wife.
Jordan Luftig | Community Manager
Jordan thinks deeply about the causes of human suffering and his work is dedicated to creating the conditions for human flourishing. A generalist with a Master’s degree in Integral Psychology and a certified Integral Coach, Jordan joins FSD with 10 years of combined experience as a convener, educator, fundraiser, and grantmaker. He has played a notable role in building an emerging global Integral movement as four-time organizer of an international conference; director of a multi-issue grantmaking program; and faculty member of graduate programs. Jordan is passionate about a convergence of movements for social justice, a new political economy, and individual and cultural awakening. He has worked with BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) in the new economy movement and he participated in Equity Summit 2015 as a member of the People of Color Network delegation of EPIP (Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy). Jordan volunteers as Vice Chair of the Bay Area chapter of EPIP. He played basketball at Emory University, and today you might catch him playing tennis or jogging around Lake Merritt in Oakland, where he lives with his wife Paulette.
Angelica Ortega | Program Director
Angelica was born in Jujuy province in northern Argentina, and since then she has done a lot of work that has prepared her to work with FSD. In university, she studied project management, local community development, and corporate social responsibility. She put her studies to use in over 14 years of work with NGOs, completing a wide range of different types of social projects, but always focusing on the community. She was drawn to FSD because she identifies with FSD’s requirements for community involvement and buy-in for the projects we support. She loves how FSD works as a catalyst for growth, and she loves that we work in Salta!
Erin Ristig | International Program Coordinator
Originally from Goleta, California, Erin is a graduate of Claremont McKenna College where she majored in Environmental Analysis and Spanish. During her studies she became increasingly interested in international development. A research project while studying abroad in Ecuador and a subsequent grant proposal led her to work with an Ecuadorian village to form a community-based ecotourism business. Erin spent several months working with the community and this "on the ground" experience solidified her passion for sustainable development at the local level. She is very excited to be returning to South America and working with FSD in Salta, Argentina. In her spare time Erin enjoys being outdoors, meeting new people, surfing, watching telenovelas, hiking, and traveling.
Mauricio Ramirez Parra | Program Director
Mauricio has served as the Director of FSD's Bolivia program since it was initiated in 2000. A native Bolivian, Mauricio has extensive experience with the international community. He has been involved with various agricultural and environmental projects and has served as the coordinator for Farmer to Farmer, financed by USAID since 1996, in Cochabamba. In this capacity he supported projects that provided agricultural producers with technical assistance in the areas of beekeeping, livestock, and the production of fruits and vegetables. He is currently the President of Partners of the Americas in Bolivia, an organization that incorporates volunteers from North Carolina and Bolivia. Together, volunteers address the areas of health, agriculture, art and culture, search and rescue, women’s issues, rehabilitation, and justice. Mauricio has experience working with volunteers since 1995.
Ellen Jirik | International Program Coordinator
Ellen Jirik hails from Edina, Minnesota. She moved to Massachusetts in 2010 to earn her B.A. in History and Latin American Studies from Smith College. In the summer of 2012, Ellen completed an internship in Madrid at a center for Latin American immigrants, and went on to study in Cordoba, Spain immediately afterwards. Ellen was an FSD intern at the Tola, Nicaragua site in 2013, working with a local school counseling center. Though Ellen had studied Latin America throughout college, her time in Nicaragua was her first on the ground experience and she fell absolutely in love. She knew that she had to return, and so in 2014 after she graduated, she returned to Nicaragua to work with FSD at their Ciudad Sandino site as a Global Service Trips Coordinator. She was thrilled to work with so many interesting and motivated students from around the world. She then moved to Managua, Nicaragua to continue working with service groups. She is beyond excited to be working with FSD in Bolivia and looks forward to many new adventures! Ellen is obsessed with dogs, particularly her yellow lab Abby, and enjoys hiking, swimming, and the occasional Netflix binge session
Peter Khamusali Ingosi | Program Director
Peter has a long and demonstrated commitment to community development. Born and raised in the Shikokho district of Kakamega, Kenya, Peter has more than ten years of experience working with communities at the grassroots level, including public, private, and NGO sectors. He holds a B.S. in Animal Production, a diploma in Sustainable Development, a Masters degree in Community Development and Project Management. Peter currently serves as a key Advisor to Shikokho Community Development Initiatives, ensuring the ideas and needs of the community are incorporated into the design of each project. Peter has also consulted on numerous community development projects financed by both local and international government agencies as well as NGOs, with projects ranging in focus from microfinance and small business development to human rights, health, education, and quality of life for widows and orphans. Peter is married with three sons and a daughter.
Susan Mulyanga | Local Program Coordinator
Susan was born and raised in Kakamega, Kenya. She graduated from Laikipia University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Economics. Previously, she worked with Kenya Agricultural and Livestock Research Organization (KALRO) as an enumerator in western Nyanza and Rift Valley regions of Kenya. At KALRO she engaged frequently with local communities, advocating for poverty eradication through farming activities. She is passionate about community development and youth empowerment. She is excited to work with FSD as it's an opportunity for her to advocate for sustainable development. She looks forward to working with enthusiastic interns and volunteers who want to make a change in Kakamega through knowledge and skill transfer. During her free time she enjoys reading novels, listening to music and watching documentaries.
Katie Shepard | International Program Coordinator
After graduating from Grinnell College with a degree in Mathematics, Katie spent two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer, teaching math and science at a rural high school in Lesotho. This exposure to international development was so influential that, upon her return to the States, she pursued a Master’s in International Development Practice at the University of Minnesota. During graduate school, Katie enjoyed working on “real” projects, including a summer field research experience in Peru, as well as a (satellite) consulting project for an NGO based in Managua, Nicaragua. She has a passion for energy and the environment, and loves travel, photography, and running.
Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua
Maria de Jesus Zepeda | Nicaragua Country Director
Maria has served as FSD's Country Director in Nicaragua since 1998. She is a licensed social worker and psychologist, with a specialization in clinical attention and attention to families. Maria has a post-graduate degree in forensic psychology, and in 2011 she received her master's degree in Social Politics, Rights, and Leadership for Children and Adolescents. She completed a course on "facilitation for facilitators" that has helped her with the many leadership roles she has taken on. Maria’s professional history demonstrates a dedication to her community. She was hired by the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health to manage community health education programs and direct the Department of Social Work in the Hospital of Ciudad Sandino. She also directed a program geared at preventing interfamilial violence and promoting reproductive health for the Fundación Mejia Godoy, financed by USAID. She has extensive experience developing projects and facilitating projects for health educators, midwives, and volunteers who work in public and community health. With the help of FSD volunteers, Maria works to help organizations improve the quality of life in Nicaragua. Her focus is empowering women, promoting community development, and supporting organizations in Nicaragua develop sustainable community projects.
Kelly Carpenter | International Programs Coordinator
Kelly, originally from Santa Barbara, California, developed a passion for travelling early in life with trips to Mexico and Costa Rica to visit family. Several years later after completing a study abroad program in Granada, Spain, Kelly later returned to Barcelona, Spain to live and travel independently. Upon returning to the United States, Kelly completed her B.A. in Spanish at Plymouth State University in Plymouth, NH. During her undergraduate studies, Kelly had the opportunity to travel to Managua, Nicaragua and Lima and Iquitos, Peru. These later experiences enhanced her growing interest in the field of Public Health and in 2013 Kelly began her graduate studies at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Florida in pursuit of a Masters of Public Health degree in the Global Health Practice discipline. With a passion and appreciation for the language and history of Latin America, Kelly elected an emphasis in Global Health and Latin American & Caribbean Studies. Just before graduating with her MPH in December 2015, Kelly completed her international practicum requirements as an intern at FSD’s site in Cochabamba, Bolivia; an irreplaceable experience which has only enhanced her excitement for working with incoming interns and community partners at the Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua site. Kelly is always excited for new experiences to learn and grow; she has a profound love of travel, music, and photography and in her spare time enjoys being outdoors, practicing yoga, kayaking, running, and spending time with friends and family.
Ramiro Adoni Rocha Rodríguez | Program Director
Ramiro has been involved with NGOs focused on sustainable community development for the last eleven years and loves his work. Some of these organizations include CEPS, Fundación Nueva Generación, ACSUR, Las Segovias, Médicos del Mundo (Spain), and Save the Children (USA). His educational background includes studies in social work, citizen participation, the environment, community organization, conflict resolution, and education. He has been involved with projects including early childhood education, community health, reproductive health, women's labor rights, citizen participation, youth groups, and other issues. Through FSD, Ramiro hopes to continue contributing to improving the quality of life in local Nicaraguan communities.
Alexandra MacPhee | Senior International Programs Coordinator for FSD-Nicaragua
Born in the Netherlands and raised in a Canadian diplomatic family, Alexandra grew up traveling abroad to Europe. A three-month backpacking trip to Central America in 2008 first sparked Alexandra’s interest in living in Latin America. She returned to Nicaragua in 2009 to volunteer, which confirmed her commitment to working in the non-profit sector. After graduating with a B.A. in International Development Studies from McGill University in Montreal, Canada, she embarked on a 13-month internship in community development in a Nicaraguan town. The following year, Alexandra landed a position in fundraising at a microfinance institution in Honduras, which took her to rural areas across the country. While this experience was very rewarding, Alexandra jumped at the opportunity to join FSD as the International Programs Coordinator in Tola, Nicaragua, and moved to the rural community of Las Salinas de Nagualapa in September 2012. Alexandra’s experiences in the non-profit sector and the growing tourism industry in Tola inspired her to purchase land in Las Salinas in hopes of building a tourism establishment with the mission to support local community initiatives. Meanwhile, Alexandra thoroughly enjoys her work with FSD, especially supporting FSD interns and collaborating with FSD’s community partners. In 2015, Alexandra was promoted to Senior International Programs Coordinator, providing support to both the Tola and Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua, site offices. In her spare time, Alexandra likes relaxing by the beach, reading, riding her bicycle, hiking, and traveling. [Alexandra supports both FSD-Ciudad Sandino and FSD-Tola.]
Margaret Nassozi Amanyire | Program Director
Margaret is a development worker with more than a decade of experience working with communities to cause social development. She began her career as a Government Civil Servant with Ministry of Gender and Community Development in Uganda, where she worked on issues of culture, women and gender, as well as youth and development. She later worked as District Community Development Officer in Western Uganda, before joining the Civil Society fraternity in 1998. She has since been working as Coordinator for a Civil Society networks, and has done consultancy work with European Union and CARE International. She has facilitated the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of both strategic and action plans for several Organizations. She has experience in supporting volunteers to do development work in Uganda. Margaret holds a Bachelors of Development Studies, the Commonwealth Diploma in Youth and Development and a Diploma in Performing Art. She has passion for children and young adults.
Jonan Nandolo | Local Program Coordinator
Jonan holds a Bachelor’s in Social Sciences and a major in Public Administration and Management from Nkumba University Uganda. Before joining FSD as a program Coordinator, Jonan worked with Apas Consultancy Firm as a Research Assistant in health insurance policies, youth and education. This experience helped him develop a love for community work. He also worked with VEDCO (Volunteer Effort for Development Concerns) in the sustainable agriculture farming and produce sector. Jonan loves entrepreneurship, media production (especially radio voicing), meeting people from different walks of life, traveling and trying out different recipes.
Jacqueline Yelton | International Program Coordinator
As a recent graduate of Brigham Young University in Idaho, Jacqueline is at the start of her career, though she has had an eye toward international development and humanitarian aid for many years. In her younger years, she began to notice issues in the world and the need for people willing to get involved. She started volunteering with organizations such as Habitat for Humanity and the Littleton Immigrant Resource Center. Due to this, she chose to complete her BA in International Studies and is currently pursuing an MS in Poverty Reduction from the University of London. Jacqueline has had the opportunity to live both in southern France studying at l’Université Paul-Valéry Montpellier III, and in Taiwan teaching English. She is from Denver, Colorado where she lives surrounded by her parents and four siblings.
Anita S. Mago | Program Director
Anita holds a Masters of Science Degree in Extension for Natural Resource Based Livelihoods from Reading University in UK and a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication from Makerere University, Kampala Uganda. She is a linguist, speaking majority of the languages spoken in Uganda while also speaking and writing English, French Kiswahili, and Russian. Anita has experience in Rural and International Development since 1992 working with grassroots communities. She also has extensive experience in communication and management skills for Rural Development, with strong mobilization skills. Over the course of her career, she has been involved in various media activities geared towards reaching rural communities through appropriate media. Anita has engaged in various projects dealing with environmental conservation, water and sanitation improvement, and agro-business, and was active in HIV/AIDS education regarding prevention and stigma reduction. She enjoys working with people from varied cultural backgrounds, and she has a keen interest in governance policy development, women emancipation and equity. Anita was a Board Member of several organizations, including the Uganda Media Women’s Association (UMWA) and Uganda Women Entrepreneurs Association (UWEAL), and she is a Life Member of the Uganda Red Cross Society. Additionally, she was the Founder of the Rural Integrated Development Organization (RIDO). Anita’s hobbies include dancing, cooking and gardening.
Nina Mago | Local Program Coordinator
Nina recently graduated from Uganda Martyrs University with a degree in development studies and ethics. She volunteered repeatedly with FSD during school vacation where she played a vital role in translation, needs assessments and project design. One of the things she enjoyed most about volunteering with FSD was that it gave her a chance to help international interns and students integrate into the local community. In her spare time she enjoys traveling and meeting new people.
The Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) initiated its Ambassador Program in response to the many inquiries it received from working professionals in the Bay Area and around the world, offering their pro-bono services to support FSD’s mission.
Our San Francisco head office works with these professionals to increase FSD’s organizational capacity and the value we provide our beneficiaries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The Ambassador Program also provides an opportunity for FSD’s more than 3,000 volunteer alumni to assist in extending our mission at home and abroad. LEARN MORE >>
Aamir Ali I’ve recently moved from India to San Francisco for Google, where I’ve worked for the last 10 years. I’ve held different roles and right now I’m a Product Manager at YouTube. I enjoy helping people and solving problems through technology. Growing up in a small town in India, I saw first hand the disparity between communities in a developing country and the need for empowering them with resources and education. I was involved with the social outreach programs in school and civic involvement continues to be an important aspect of my life. After coming to the bay area I’ve worked with several NGOs, related to homelessness, terminal patient care and animal welfare. With FSD I look forward to combining my passion for solving problems via technology and helping local communities.
Ann Marie Aviles began her international journeying when she was two months old, when she moved from snowy Montreal to New York. Since then, her appetite for travel (and solid foods) has only grown. Using her community outreach and development skills refined through AmeriCorps, Ann Marie left for France to teach in underprivileged communities. Nowadays you can find her working on global communication projects at an international translation firm while supporting local sustainability initiatives as a planning committee member for Zero Waste Youth USA. She looks forward to channeling her skills and international experience to help strengthen neighborhoods around the world with FSD International.
Julian Borrey enjoys solving problems in engineering and working on humanitarian issues. His first contact with FSD was in the summer of 2013 when he interned for the Masaka, Uganda group and worked on solar energy with a small fishing village. Now days, Julian is trying to contribute to the operations of FSD and refine his understanding of how sustainable development is done most efficiently. Other interests held by Julian include physics, playing music, exploring the outdoors and traveling to places he has not been before. Julian originates from Sydney, Australia but now lives in San Francisco and graduated from Duke University, USA in 2015.
Whitney Caruso is the Director of Strategy at Third Plateau, a multi-disciplinary social impact strategy firm that partners with bold visionaries in the social sector to drive meaningful, substantial, and sustainable change.Whitney received her Master's in International Affairs at U.C. San Diego's School of International Relations and Pacific Studies, where she studied International Development and Nonprofit Management in Latin America. After completion of her Bachelor of Arts degree at U.C. Santa Barbara in Global Studies, Whitney interned with FSD at The Rainbow Network, a Nicaraguan micro-finance organization that focuses on rural community banking. She was then invited to remain in Nicaragua as the International Program Coordinator in Tola, and also served as an intern for FSD in the San Francisco office where she developed a survey to measure project sustainability across FSD sites. Whitney is originally from Sebastopol, California and currently resides in San Francisco.
Kelly Chang graduated from Scripps College, a member of the Claremont Colleges, where she majored in Biology. Realizing that she wanted to affect environmental and social change in ways beyond scientific research, she spent 4 months in Cochabamba, Bolivia gaining experience in environmental education, non-profit work, and outreach through the Foundation for Sustainable Development’s international internships program. Kelly is currently a Climate Corps Bay Area fellow and serves as the Outreach and Education Coordinator for the Green Ninja Project, where she helps manage various projects such as the “Green Ninja at Schools” program, the Green Ninja Climate Ride team, and writes for the Huffington Post and Green Ninja blog. In her spare time, you’ll catch her rambling in Spanish, backpacking, kiteboarding, climbing, skiing, surfing or curled up on the couch with a good book and a cup of tea.
Leslie Chen is a Consultant in the Strategy & Operations group at Deloitte Consulting LLP where she works primarily in corporate strategy, customer experience, and digital transformation projects for Fortune 500 companies. She participated in the FSD Global Service Trip to Nicaragua in November 2013, where she advised a local microfinance organization on its market entry strategy. As an Ambassador, she supports FSD’s corporate partnership development to create similar opportunities for other young professionals. She is passionate about enabling skilled workers to apply their expertise to fill opportunities and needs in global development. Prior to joining Deloitte, she led an international strategy project for a leading microfinance non-profit and developed the online marketing strategy of a renewable energy start-up. She graduated with a Bachelors in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley.
Kaylie Erikson is originally from the Pacific Northwest, and currently resides in San Francisco. She graduated from Regis University with a B.A. in Sociology and an emphasis on Peace and Justice Studies. Kaylie has been inspired to work with others because of various community projects abroad in places like Ensenada, Mexico and Bologna, Italy. Most of her traveling has been based in developing countries and she’s excited to learn more about sustainably supporting communities through asset-based development. Prior to her time with FSD, Kaylie worked in a marketing and web development position for a small business in San Jose and she is excited to bring those skills to FSD. Kaylie loves being active, biking around the city, backpacking, reading, and traveling.
David Estrin is an aspiring social entrepreneur on a mission to use the power of business to solve complex, global challenges. David’s passion for social business stems from a series of international experiences during his time as a student at Duke University (2009-2013), where he majored in Public Policy Studies. After working with the Foundation for Sustainable Development to transform a struggling NGO’s microenterprise division in Kenya, David ventured to Argentina to study at the Institute for Social and Economic Development. The following year, he interned with the Unitus family of social finance organizations in Bangalore, India. Currently, David is a Senior Strategy Analyst with Accenture Strategy, developing a core set of business skills that he can apply throughout his career in the social impact space.
Caitlin Fabian had her interest in Latin America sparked by a trip to Quito, Ecuador during her freshman year in college. She focused both her undergraduate studies at Georgetown University and her graduate studies at UC San Diego on the economic, political, and cultural development of the region and jumps at any opportunity to travel to Latin America. Her professional career has spanned the non-profit and private sector, but has always focused on better understanding the root causes of inequality and working to promote economic development in some of the world’s most impoverished areas. She has worked at the Carter Center in Atlanta, GA and for Teach for America in New Orleans, LA and is currently a Community Investments Analyst at PG&E, where she helps manage the company’s $23 million charitable budget and build strategic partnerships with non-profits across California. Caitlin is a native of Spring Lake, New Jersey but is currently enjoying life on the West coast.
Rumana Hussain has a passion for global health and spent a summer during her dual MBA and MPH program at UC Berkeley in Mexico City with an NGO focused on reproductive health. She also had the opportunity to shadow a partera in Chiapas, MX, and visit several health care organizations in Nairobi and rural Kenya while she was in school. While she is now a senior operational leader at Stanford Health Care, Rumana still dreams of supporting global health and all of its relatives (education, sanitation, microfinance, etc) and is excited to contribute through FSD. Rumana loves to travel, dabbles in the outdoorsy (cycling, camping), and keeps meaning to revitalize her salsa dancing and crossword puzzle skills.
Hannah Katz previously worked for FSD's San Francisco team as International Program Coordinator, where she gained valuable program and relationship management skills and was able to call upon her development experience in Costa Rica and Mexico. She now works as a Program Consultant in the nonprofit sector and serves on the Committee of IDEX's Young Professionals' Group. In her role as FSD ambassador, Hannah co-manages the Bay Area International Development Meetup Group, organizing and reaching out to the community to spread awareness about FSD's annual fundraiser, Information Sessions, special events, and other monthly international development events. She is happy to provide informational interviews and act as cultural ambassador to FSD, and has challenged herself to create programmatic materials that will be used to engage with FSD alumni. In her free time, Hannah enjoys networking with people in the nonprofit sector, running, dancing, and exploring nature through hiking and camping trips.
Meagan Le contracted not only typhoid fever during her first FSD trip abroad in 2013, but also an incurable curiosity for intercultural relations. While pursuing her B.A. in Environmental Studies at the University of San Francisco, Meagan interned in Udaipur and subsequently served as International Program Coordinator after graduating in 2014. She is beyond grateful for all her experiences with FSD (and good health!) and looks forward to her continued involvement as Alumni Ambassador.
Chris LeGrant is world traveler, driven by an awareness of the common good and an endless curiosity of other cultures. He worked to help start the outbound division of GeoVisions, a volunteer, teach and work abroad organization in 2006. Christopher's passion for the Global South started with traveling for GeoVisions, helping to create and sustain it's international service learning programs and culminated with three months of sociological/anthropological fieldwork in a rural Nicaraguan farming cooperative. He strives to bring his knowledge of international NGOs, economic development and research to help FSD employ a meaningful but streamlined monitoring and evaluation framework to assess the impact and sustainability of it's programs. In his downtime, Chris enjoys playing guitar, hiking, snowboarding and writing for his blog.
Chris holds a MA in International Studies with a focus on Latin America and Political Economy from the University of San Francisco and a BA in European History from Westfield State University.
Danielle Litman holds her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Creative Writing from Northwestern University, where she focused on Playwriting, Devising, and Creative Nonfiction. She was an FSD Intern in 2011 in Udaipur, India through Northwestern's GESI program. While at Northwestern, she also completed the Civic Engagement Certificate Program in the School of Education and Social Policy. After graduating in 2013, she was a 2013-2014 Urban Prep Fellow, where she worked as an adviser and theatre director for young men at Urban Prep Academy in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Today, she holds a position as a Cultural Liaison for the Chicago Park District Department of Culture, Arts, and Nature. She also teaches writing and theatre workshops throughout Chicago. For the past 2 years, she has been working with Sojourn Theatre's production of How to End Poverty in 90 Minutes as a Partnership Coordinator in Chicago, Baton Rouge, Montana, Washington State, and Nashville.
Ariel Maschke graduated with a B.A. in International Studies, Communication Studies and Global Health from Northwestern University in 2013. Via FSD's partnership with Northwestern's Global Engagement Studies Institute, she spent the summer of 2011 in Udaipur, India working with Seva Mandir's Community Care Center to develop a drug adherence project for clinic patients. In 2012, she rejoined the GESI team as a student instructor and has co-developed and delivered an Open Letters curriculum with GESI since 2014. Having spent the last two years in domestic community development spaces, Ariel is excited to continue her learning this fall as an incoming Masters candidate at University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration where she will concentrate in global health program development and evaluation.
Alex Moore is a finance and operations manager at Google, where his primary focus is on process improvement and automation. He has held a variety of roles throughout his career and has a broad base of experience within the areas of finance, accounting and operations. Alex is passionate about world travel. He began travelling with his high school’s exploration club, and he continued to travel during college while studying abroad in Spain. While working at Texas Instruments, Alex frequently assisted manufacturing operations throughout Southeast Asia. These experiences have fueled Alex’s desire to learn more about international development, as he continues to utilize his professional skills to serve the developing world.
Drew Ratcliffe started his career as a Middle School Science teacher, instructing Physical and Life Sciences. Next, he worked as a Strategy & Operations consultant for Deloitte. While in consulting, Drew helped advise clients in the healthcare, insurance, and technology industries. Through Deloitte, he participated in FSD’s 2013 Global Service Trip in Nicaragua. Most recently, Drew served as Volunteer Consultant for TechnoServe in Mumbai, India. Drew received a BA and MA in Economics from UC Santa Barbara.
Mia Salvemimi’s involvement with FSD began in San Francisco as a Marketing and Communications Intern. Having spent a year studying in Florence, Italy, Mia graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in History and a desire to explore the world. Her international travels have taken her across six continents, inspiring her to join FSD’s mission for a more sustainable future. Between travels and prior to joining FSD, she worked as Manager of Free Tours by Foot San Francisco and as a tour guide in Washington, D.C. She continues to indulge her love of history, art, and language and can often be found volunteering at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Mia is eager to pursue sustainable development strategies while sharing a passion for event planning and research with FSD.
Vicens Sanmartin originally from Barcelona, he studied Law, Human Rights and Democracy, worked as a lawyer, traveled around the world for a long period of time and did a Master on Graphic Design and Visual Identity. By doing this, he understood the way communications are changing so he could communicate certain situations while helping others and be able to give back to the community and contribute to its development and sustainable growth. He is an entrepreneur and volunteered for different associations. He has a passion for traveling, languages, culture, reading, writing, meting new people and exploring new places as well as enjoying outdoors climbing, snowboarding and canyoning.
Ira Shaughnessy is a fourth generation San Franciscan with extensive experience in international development and environmental sustainability. The travel bug (and many, many other bugs) bit Ira at the age of 15 when he lived and worked on a subsistence farm in Belize. Since then, he has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Ghana, studied business in Shanghai, China and spent six months traveling eastward around the globe. In 2013, Ira completed an MBA/MS dual degree in Global Sustainable Enterprise from the Erb Institute at the University of Michigan. He now works in business development, helping to improve waste, water and energy efficiency in th
Sim Sidhu is a CPA, CA working in the Bay area as a consultant with the Siegfried Group, a leading provider of Accounting Resource Services to Fortune 1000 companies assisting clients experiencing surges in critical accounting and finance work. Previously she spent over 3 years in the Assurance and Advisory group at Grant Thornton LLP in Vancouver, Canada, working with a range of industries including manufacturing and distribution, retail, mining, and not-for-profit organizations.
Sim has always had an interest in international development, which peaked in University when she was selected to attend a trade mission to South America with Global Vision's Junior Team Canada to research and report on the sustainability of several community development projects initiated by Canadian mining companies. An avid traveler, she has had the opportunity to witness the strength and beauty of many developing countries, and looks forward to contributing to the world of international development through FSD’s initiatives.
Will Smerdon is a Chartered Accountant with Grant Thornton LLP, one of the largest accounting firms in the world, working as a Senior Audit Associate. Originally from Australia, Will worked with Grant Thornton for 3 years before transferring to Vancouver, Canada and then relocating to San Francisco in July 2015. Will has experience working with clients in various industries including the manufacturing, consulting and financial services, technology and not-for-profit organizations.
Having previously volunteered for roles in community oriented not-for-profit organizations in Australia, Will believes in FSD's asset based approach to project deployment and is looking forward to contributing and creating further awareness of the initiatives.
Sarah Taylor recently graduated from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. She received a Masters of Science and Public Health, with a concentration in health education and a certificate in global health; she also holds a Master in Social Work. She is a recipient of FSD’s Katie Evans Memorial Scholarship. Her long-term goals are to contribute to an international development organization operating to empower women and improve their health globally through research, evaluation, and health communication. She enjoy creating pottery, meditating, reading, learning about new people and places, and traveling. She also enjoys volunteering at the Shambhala Buddhist Center and therapeutic horseback riding programs.
Melissa Trinley began her international travel as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin Madison where she obtained her B.A. in Communication Arts and History. Her love of exploring other cultures led her to positions teaching English to first generation college students in Santiago de Chile, volunteering with immigrant communities in La Boca, Argentina, and serving as a program manager in Cochabamba, Bolivia at a local NGO where she helped to increase awareness and funds for its solar stove distribution program. For several years she has worked in the field of cultural exchange helping facilitate exchange programs between international students traveling to the U.S. and Americans going abroad. Currently she is an Account Manager in global partner services for Intrax Cultural Exchange focusing on growing business relationships between partner offices abroad and the organization. She is currently a master’s candidate at DePaul University’s International Studies program where she focuses her research on the impact of the export of Bolivian quinoa on the farming community. Melissa is passionate about helping community-led development projects increase their sustainability and is excited to contribute her international relationship building skills to FSD.
Anagha Vaidhyanathan is an institutional equity analyst at Morgan Stanley. She advises hedge funds and asset managers on investments in emerging markets and technology, media, and internet companies. Anagha serves on the Environment and Social Finance Forum at Morgan Stanley and helps spearhead the firm’s sustainability efforts. She has a BA in Economics from Wellesley College and is on the board of the Wellesley Alumni of Silicon Valley. In her free time, Anagha frequents farmers markets, paints, and plays flag football in the great parks of San Francisco.
James Waters is an attorney with the law firm of Robinson, Bradshaw & Hinson, P.A. who advises clients on a variety of international and foreign law issues relating to international business transactions, and he regularly represents public and private companies in mergers, acquisitions and joint venture transactions. He has advised corporations, limited liability companies and nonprofit organizations on a breadth of commercial and corporate matters, including organizational and governance matters, operating agreements and significant commercial contracts. He enjoyed his experience as an FSD intern in Ciudad Sandino, Nicaragua in 2007 and as the International Program Coordinator there from 2010–2011. James earned a J.D. and LL.M. in International and Comparative Law from Duke University in 2014 and currently practices law in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Bryce Watson is currently an undergraduate student at Texas A&M University, studying international relations and economics. This course of study has allowed him to spend six months in China, learning Mandarin and conducting research on migrant students in Beijing. This experience solidified his passion for international development and led him realize that to “help” others you must empower them to develop their own communities. After returning from China, he began working with Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) in their San Francisco office as a Marketing and Communications Intern. His work focused his passion and gave him the knowledge and the tools he needed to found his own organization, the Student Initiative for International Development (SIID), a year long training program for undergraduate students to learn the complexities of international development by researching, developing, and implementing a development project with FSD in the field. Last year Bryce worked with the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA) in Washington D.C. on their international development program, connecting rural farmers in emerging markets with the global economy in order to increase their economic development. Bryce is currently an implementation intern with KA Lite (an offline version of Khan Academy) an international education organization using technology to improve the quality of education in developing communities.
Kyle Webb is a Strategy Consultant at Accenture, where he’s led clients through various phases of transformation projects in the Life Sciences, Higher Education, and Consumer Goods industries. His passion is the protection of human rights, specifically fighting human trafficking. In 2014, Kyle volunteered for a European anti-trafficking NGO, where he wrote articles, performed research, and assisted in the development of a major campaign to engage corporations to address human trafficking in their supply chains. Kyle holds a BSBA in Accounting and International Business from Ohio Northern University and an International MBA with a concentration in Global Supply Chain and Operations Management from the University of South Carolina.
Dharshani Weerasekera is an independent communications professional with a background in earth science and a masters in science communication. Her experience in writing and editing was gained in the science, radio, travel and public relations fields in the UK and in Sri Lanka, with deep connections to both countries. Her work is now focused on raising awareness of sustainable development issues concerning social and environmental justice. Dharshani supports FSD’s Marketing and Communications team in developing its communications strategy remotely from the UK, where she is currently a research and communications volunteer for the Green Economy Coalition in London.
Kate Williams manages global corporate client relationships for Good World Solutions, a Bay area nonprofit that uses data insights and mobile technology to give labor workers a voice, while enforcing ethical supply chain transparency. She brings a wealth of relationship and project management experience from Vanguard Asset Management where she launched her career. From there, Kate took her business skills to Nicaragua where she implemented business economic development projects for Peace Corps Nicaragua. She holds her BS in Finance and recently completed her International MBA from the Darla Moore School of Business where she focused on corporate social responsibility and worked for an ethical shoe company at their production facilities in Peru. Kate is passionate about alleviating poverty through business solutions and proficient in Spanish.
Penny C Zhou is a Consultant at PwC Advisory focused on helping Financial Services Institutions go through large scale transformations in their business strategies, operations and regulatory compliance capabilities. Penny lived in China and Canada for a number of years before attending undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley and eventually residing in San Francisco. Her international background has made her passionate about social impact and global development issues. As an Ambassador, Penny will be focused on fundraising and building out a methodology for FSD to measure and monitor the impact from its projects. She is excited to be a part of FSD and help drive its mission forward.
Interns and Volunteers
A Big thank you to our Summer 2016 Interns in San Francisco!
Chris Ackerman is a finance and operations intern at FSD. He is a sophomore at Boston University, planning on pursuing a double concentration in entrepreneurship and finance in the business school. Chris has spent lots of time learning about developmental work through SMI Haiti and Compassion International programs as a volunteer, and hopes to expand his understanding of continual global development through his work at FSD.
Andrea Vidal is a senior studying international relations at Boston University with concentrations in Environment and Development, and Latin America. A second generation Colombian-American and a Bay Area native, she is inspired by the Bay Area's socially conscious atmosphere and seeks to better the world in a sustainable manner. Having spent the last year abroad in Bolivia and Switzerland pursuing her interests in international development and human rights, she sought to spend this summer more locally. Andrea will be working at FSD as a Content Development Intern. While not working or going to school Andrea enjoys practicing yoga and martial arts, reading, learning guitar, and spending time outdoors.
Brittany Schulte is a junior at Georgetown University's Walsh School of Foreign Service majoring in Science, Technology, and International Affairs with a focus on business, growth, and development. She is interested in the field of international development and discovering how the public and private sectors can work together to create sustainable solutions for development. At Georgetown, she is involved in the Hilltop Microfinance Initiative, a student-run non profit that aims to empower local entrepreneurs, and she is interested in micro-finance initiatives on a global scale. At FSD, she will be working on fundraising and grants and is excited to contribute to FSD's mission.
Neha Gupta is a sophomore at Northwestern University, pursuing degrees in Economics, Psychology, and the Business Institutions Program. At Northwestern, she served as the Fundraising and Sponsorship Co Chair for two non profits, TEDxNU and Northwestern University Dance Marathon (NUDM). These rewarding experiences, together with the inspirational stories she heard from the people she was supporting, made her reach out to FSD for a summer internship. As a Finance and Operations Intern, Neha is excited to build on her analytical and leadership skills in a collaborative environment. In her free time, she enjoys oil painting, dancing, and listening to podcasts.
As the child of an African immigrant, Sarai Ikenze’s interest in global dynamics and processes began early in life. She further explored this interest through her undergraduate studies in economics and political science and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in International Studies at University of San Francisco. Through her recent studies, she has come to believe in the importance of community driven development processes for long-term economic and political stability in developing countries, and she hopes to contribute to sustainable development processes through an internship with the Foundation for Sustainable Development and a career in international development work.